Sunday, January 18, 2009

Eden Revisited

“There is a story so pervasive, so deeply sublimated, therefore so powerful, that it is disabling our grace and ease in this world, the grace and ease with which we mostly conduct our lives and create our art. The story is Genesis, the Ur-story at the center of all our stories. It is in Genesis that we learn the reason for our current state of exile from Nature. Uniquely created and endowed (thus unnatural), in a world that is neither our original home nor our ultimate home, we have been cast as aliens into an opaque, often dangerous world, a corrupted form of something earlier, something higher. These observations on human nature, and on Nature itself, shape our forms of upbringing, the dynamic and moral structures of our entire civilization, our schooling — and in particular our art education.

To create a new, more deeply satisfactory story, one that will enable a healing of the schism between humans and the rest of creation, constitutes the great task of this generation. Because this story is as primary as it is, invasive as it is, the task of creating a new story, Genesis II, requires an effort that our minds, bodies, and spirits find satisfactory. The artistic enterprise, when full and sincere, is just such an engagement that calls upon these powers, making the arts well-bade instruments for this daunting and necessary creative act.”

— Peter London, Drawing Closer to Nature: Making Art in Dialogue with the Natural World.

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